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Exclusive Interview with RCA Records Chloe Lilac on Her “Manic Pixie Dream EP”

(Photo Credit: Louis Browne)

“poised to make waves in the music industry with her smooth vocals that evoke shades of a young Fiona Apple and laid back musical stylings” – Earmilk

These were the words used to describe rising RCA Records artist Chloe Lilac as the young Brooklyn singer continues to impress with her unique sound. We’ve featured Chloe many times before at OLC! since she blew us away with her smash hit single “Stolen Liquor”. Today marks the release of her debut EP titled “Manic Pixie Dream” via RCA Records.

Most recently, Chloe released the brand new single which was the title track to the EP “Manic Pixie Dream.” Describing the new single, Chloe notes, “The manic pixie dream girl trope is very frustrating to me and that’s what this song is about. It’s an unattainable standard for women. I was finding that the people I was dating expected me to be a manic pixie dream girl instead of a real, complex, multi-dimensional person.”

The EP comes on the heels of a huge year for Chloe Lilac marked by a string of standout singles that have secured her a well-deserved spot as a top new rising artist. Refinery29 included Chloe among their 2019 ‘Artists To Watch’ noting, “Her relatable lyrics and dreamy melodies don’t just make music. They make moments”. Chloe has already notched up 3 million+ Spotify streams an incredible achievement first kicked off by the July release of single “Stolen Liquor” which hit #1 on the Hype Machine ‘Popular Chart’. Chloe followed with “Summer,” which gained high praise from media outlets such as Elevator Magazine and Ladygunn.

With her rise quickly gaining traction, I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to talk to this up and coming music superstar and talk to her about her new EP “Manic Pixie Dream”;

Photo Credit: Noah Sahady

Hi Chloe and welcome to OLC! Tell me when did you find your passion for music, was there anyone that inspired you?

hey!! thanks so much for interviewing me!

A lot of people inspired me at an early age. Specifically Christina Aguilera. When I was younger, my family really only listened to musicians such as Frank Zappa, David Bowie, and The Talking Heads. My dad hated the radio. My cousin started making my family mixtapes of pop songs. I remember when I heard the first mixtape. The first song on it was Ain’t No Other Man by Christina Aguilera. I was about 6 or 7 years old. The second I heard her voice, I knew I wanted to make music. So my interest really sparked then I’d say.

I read you used to sneak out at age 13 to perform on the streets of NYC, wasn’t that daunting at all for you?

It wasn’t daunting at all. In my 13 year old mind, if I was going to get my music heard it didn’t matter what the consequences were.

What has this performance taught you that you didn’t expect to learn?

Oh yeah! Totally. It taught me how to deal with rejection and indifference, people passing by and not caring about what I was doing. It also taught me that when people do pay attention, it makes everything worth it. I also learned the train system so well just navigating the hell scape that is the MTA on the weekends.

The music world can be quite competitive and also quite challenging to find your big break. How were you discovered?

I was fortunate enough to be discovered by my current A&R on soundcloud when I was 14.

Who would you say keeps you grounded and would they be your biggest supporters?

My friends, other artist friends and my family keep me grounded. It’s nice having two separate sides to my life, my music life and my personal life. There’s definitely some overlap, but for the most part I try to keep them separate. My friends and family are extremely supportive and I’m so lucky to have them and not a day goes by where I take them for granted. Specifically the person that keeps me the most grounded is my best friend. I think I’d be a way worse person without him.

What’s something you learned early on in your career that made you a better artist?

Oh man. I learned that you need to trust your gut. Being genuinely yourself in this industry is so important. That’s hard because putting yourself out there is scary. A lot of people put out a completely false facade, and a facade is cool as long as it’s genuine to an aspect of you, but if it’s not who you really are, and it’s not genuine to you in some aspect, that’s where I think people get really lost. Also if you take yourself too seriously you get lost really really fast. Music is so much fun. Have fun with it. Life is short, what’s the point of taking yourself seriously?

“Stolen Liquor” I love and became your breakout hit, what does this song mean to you?

Stolen Liquor is one of my favorite songs I’ve ever written. This song means a lot to me. It means young love in Brooklyn. It means feeling alive and young and spontaneous. It means knowing you’re making a mistake or doing it anyway. It’s about a boy that used to mean a lot to me, and still does because he symbolizes that time in my life.

You’re a great songwriter, where do you derive most of your stories from, are they mostly from your own personal experiences, and how important is that to you?

Thank you!! My songwriting is 100% based on my own personal experiences and thoughts. Sometimes it’s nice to exaggerate a story, but all of it is very personal. That’s super important to me. If it’s not genuine to me why am I writing and singing about it?

Let’s talk about your EP, “MANIC PIXIE DREAM” what can you tell me about it?

This EP is all about being a young woman in New York City, coming of age, battling addiction as a teenager, young love in the 2010’s and heartbreak. I’m 17 right now, and I started writing this EP when I was 14. It’s so close to my heart.

What’s your favorite song on the EP and why?

Jesus is my favorite song on my EP. It’s all about my struggle with addiction as a young teenager, and how that made me feel.

Who helped you create the EP and where did you do most of the recording for it?

I did most of my recording in Slumbo Labs in Brooklyn for this EP. All the amazing producers I had the great privilege of collaborating with made this EP what it is.

RCA Records would be my favourite record label, how exciting and surreal is it for you to be releasing an album through one of the biggest record labels in the world?

RCA is also my favorite label! So many of my idols such as Childish Gambino, Christina Aguilera, SZA, Brockhampton, and so many more legends are on RCA and it’s insane that I’m also on that roster now. I’m so incredibly grateful. I’ve never really felt like i belonged anywhere or I was doing anything right until now. My team is so amazing. I’m so excited to keep working with them and release more music.

What’s an average day like for you in the music industry?

An average day for me is answering a couple emails, going to a session for a couple hours, and maybe a meeting after.

Who would be your dream artist to collaborate with?

My dream artist to collaborate with would have to be Drake. He’s been one of my biggest inspirations since I was in middle school, and it’d be such an honor to make a song with him.

As a female artist, do you think there’s a double standard in the industry, or in entertainment in general?

Unfortunately there’s a double standard for women everywhere. I feel like it’s universal to every industry.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

If I could change one thing about the music industry, it would be the competitive aspect of it. I think there’s enough room for everyone in music, why does it have to be someone vs someone else? We’re all out here expressing ourselves and making our own music. Not to crush another artist.

What do you enjoy doing in your downtime away from music and the band life?

When I’m not doing music I’m definitely making art or just hanging out with my friends. It’s really important to me that I see them as much as I can because they keep me grounded, inspire me, and remind me that being a kid and not taking myself seriously is so important.

What’s next on the agenda for Chloe Lilac?

I’m playing South By Southwest this year.

What do you think?

Written by Neill Frazer

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